Pirates Sighted – Attacks on Ships Increase in Gulf of Guinea

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The number of pirate attacks has been gradually increasing in the Gulf of Guinea and to add to its woes few pirates have been sighted in the territorial waters of Ghana.

What happened?

Following the pirate sightings, an alert has been issued to the merchant vessels that are transiting to the territorial waters.

The warnings to board up against pirate attacks have been issued after increased activities of pirates, off the coast of Ghana and in the sub region.

Ships attacked

On March 8, a merchant vessel was surrounded by three speed boat filled with armed pirates off, the coast of Takoradi. The pirates were reportedly wearing camouflage clothing and carrying weapons.

Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea has become an established criminal activity and is of increasing concern to the maritime sector with recent attacks becoming more widespread and violent.

Report released

A report released by the International Bureau on Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships pointed that there were 11 separate pirate attacks between 2013 and 2017 off the country’s coast.

Dr Kofi Mbia said, “We need to improve upon our surveillance and get the Ghana Navy to increase their patrol. You know the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) patrols the anchorage area of our ports and a lot of ships that want a safe haven come to our anchorage to get protection for some time but now that the spate of piracy has increased and their activities recorded on our coast, there is a need to increase the surveillance”.

Effects of pirate activities on trade

It is feared that the surge in pirate activities could have a wrong impact on commercial trading in the shipping industry as it would affect the climate of confidence in trade and influence the rise in insurance premiums.

Dr Kofi Mbia added, “When your coast is infested with pirates then there is the tendency for insurance premiums to go up for vessels that are calling at your port because of the threat to the vessels and at the same time it affects the climate of confidence in trade. Vessels must be able to move freely and navigate to and out of the port but whenever there are increase pirate attacks, there is the tendency for some vessels not to call on some particular ports because of fear of attack so indeed it affects commercial trading”.

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Source: Graphic

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